Ep 149 – 3 Easy Ways to Stay Organized in Your Coaching Business

If I’ve learned anything from life it’s that simple is better. Less is more. And that’s true when it comes to staying organized in your coaching business.

I happen to be one of the most organized people I know. But I wasn’t always like that.

I also used to be a lousy money manager.

I also used to be hopeless at writing.

I also used to suck at managing people.

So, no matter what you think you’re hopeless at now, you can change that. You can grow into whoever you want to be and however you want to live your life.

What changed those things for me? First, I stopped telling myself what I’m no good at.

The harsh way you talk to yourself is the main habit to stop. You’ll be so glad you did. It’s a life skill. If I can do it, you can do it.

Now try this … every time you think you’re not good at something get curious.

Curiosity is a powerful game changer. It quiets the amygdala – the part of your brain associated with fear. And then, attention and creativity take over.

When you explore something with curiosity, dopamine — the reward chemical — floods your body and you feel good. And then you can easily get past the “way it used to be”.

So, get organized coaches. It feels good. And it will mean you can serve clients better while you earn more.

Template Everything You Can in Your Coaching Business

This is my secret weapon against the limits of time. Everything that can be templated in my business is templated.

For example, I have a template for my Session Recap for clients. Of course, it’s customized where it needs to be within the template so it’s valuable for both of us.

I have a template for typical responses to prospects’ questions. But that’s doesn’t mean they don’t come across as personalized. They do.

I template processes. I have a 15-page Word document with 15 different processes I take my clients through in my Signature Program so I can cut and paste them into emails as we go along. My clients always say – I love how fast you respond. Part of it is about the templates.

I also have pre-made guides for my clients to save us time in session.

So ask yourself …

What can be templated now to save me time later?

And then be sure you create a place where it’s easy to find and use the templates. Me? I have a folder in my email for Templates.

Prep for Tomorrow and Next Week

This may seem basic but you wouldn’t believe how many people don’t do this.

Prep tomorrow today. Prep for next week at the end of this week.

I have a master to-do list with 2 categories – Personal and Business. And it has tasks that need to be done soon and later. I pull from the master to-do list to partially create my plan for tomorrow and for next week.

But here’s the secret – my daily to-do list is super short. No more than 3 things. If I have extra time after completing the 3 things, I’ll pick from the Master list tasks that will fit the time I have open.

Ask yourself …

What must be done tomorrow?

What must be done next week?

What will help me get ahead next week?

Do Now Whatever You Can

I used to put off what I can do tomorrow. That’s the procrastinator’s motto.

But I got tired of having things hanging over my head. I got tired of anxiety. There’s no joy in that. There is joy in getting caught up and getting ahead. It means I have discretionary time to do fun things.

So I changed my motto to “do now whatever I can”. AND I always check in with my body. If I’m done, I don’t keep doing. I rest.

Time is the arbiter. If I have 5 minutes I do what takes 5 minutes. If I have an hour, I do what takes an hour. I’ve paid attention to how long things take. Sometimes I’m surprised by how long something took. But I’m equally surprised by how quick things can be if I don’t make a big deal out of it.

What I’ve found is that my anxiety is replaced with focus. When I focus and get stuff done I don’t feel anxiety. It does require letting go of the perception that this task is a big deal.

As an example, if there’s a call that needs to be made to make an appointment, I knock that out. It’s fast. Not worth planning. Just do it.

If there’s an email that will put something in the court of the other person, I do that quickly. Keep things moving.

These three secrets to organization have made a huge difference in my ability to keep my business manageable. And they can be applied to the rest of your life too. I hope they work for you!

Ep 148 – Is it Wise to Have 2 Coaching Niches?

This episode is inspired by an excellent question posted by two coaches in my Facebook group called Prosperous Coach Club. Find the full transcript at prosperouscoach.com/148

Before we dig into this, let’s get on the same page …

What is a Smart Coaching Niche?

To me, a smart coaching niche has 3 clear components:

  1. One unique viable target audience full of seekers – people who want to grow personally and professionally and are actively seeking solutions. Without this, it’s hard to have a successful niche.
  2. A strategic coaching business model built around what that audience urgently wants and the BIG problem that’s in their way. If you don’t know what will motivate investment for your audience you don’t have a robust enough niche to earn well.
  3. Your skills and talents applied to those other two things. This is more than just coaching skills. This is bringing forward all the skills and maybe even expertise that will make you credible to your audience – something that help you relate to them and them relate to you.

A coaching niche is weak if one of more of those things is missing or not solid enough so it’s worth it to take the time to develop a niche fully.

And let me just stop the worries here … everyone has skills to bring to the table. I’ve never worked professionally with a coach that didn’t have options for their niche based on the sum total of who they are.

It’s good to remember that coaching is a business and you need to operate in the marketplace.

What do I mean by that? Your business needs to be more than selling coaching services. Unless you don’t need to earn, you need to frequently grab the attention of and enroll clients who pay you well. That’s not a casual thing for the long run. It’s totally doable and some strategy is needed.

One Coaching Business for One Well-Formed Niche

I encourage my clients to develop one business built for the long term around one well-formed niche.

Why limit it? Well, because two niches may very well feel like having two businesses, which is like having two full time jobs. No one really wants that.

It comes down to what you can handle effectively. You may be able to do many things at once but is that the best life to live? Why not build a business that’s sustainable for the long run?

You might start out with two niches but somewhere along the way one will get more attention and the other will suffer unless there is some way to leverage the two. So let’s talk about those possibilities.

Two Different Audiences for Your Coaching

Targeting two distinctly different audiences is not a good idea unless the two audiences are related in some easy way.

For example, over 10 years ago I worked with a coach who targeted Financial Advisors. That went so well that her clients introduced her to their clients — wealthy families — so that she could work with them. The two audiences are related by context.

Context is critical.

But here’s the thing to realize … she didn’t start with both audiences. She started with one and later that lead to the other. And she didn’t have to build a new business, a new website and a new content strategy for the wealthy families because they were referrals from her primary audience. No marketing needed!

Two Different Outcomes for the Same Coaching Audience

You might be curious about having two different topics or areas where you help one target audience. That approach is likely to be doable as long as one topic naturally leads to the other. That way, you have one enrollment effort. You attract the client and they stay beyond the original offer.

You could target a single audience and have two Signature Programs — one for an early phase of the outcome they want and one for the later phase.

For example, I specialize in helping new coaches to build their entire business foundation from the ground up. I could add a niche for experienced coaches and help them scale up or build a group program — something like that.

I choose not to do that because I have my hands full with new coaches. It’s enough for me. I get great variety in my work by the unique differences of each client. And that allows me to be my best at what I do and still stay on my toes sometimes.

You might think, if I can help different types of people about different types of topics, why not? I used to think like that but ran myself ragged just trying to get enough clients and earn well.

The first few years you may spend 40-50% of your time attracting clients and building a network. It takes time to build a business. That time investment does slack off as you gain traction.

Choosing Speaks Miles About Your Professionalism

But I just personally would not advise that you choose two disparate audiences or two disparate tracks or two disparate topics to help people about.

I still see some coaches all over the place in their messaging and offers. Their coaching website mentions multiple audience and even broad topics like “I can help you with relationships, career, health.

Guys, that’s a hobby, not a business. Not specializing in at least a track says to people “I can’t choose.” It’s not confidence inspiring.

So be a specialist. It’s how you’ll be perceived as professional and worth the investment.

Ep 147 – Will Coach Certification Make You a More Successful Coach?

Today’s episode is inspired by a sticky question. Do you really need to be certified in order to say that you’re a professional coach?

It’s a sticky question because there are two camps — the yeas and nays — and both have strong opinions.

I say … whether you certify or not is your decision.

2 Types of Coach Certification

  1. Certifying through a coach training organization. You enroll, complete training and certify through a review process when training is complete.
  2. Independent certification such as through the International Coach Federation (ICF). You work towards it by completing requirements and paying an application fee. You’ll need a certain number of hours of paid coaching, completed training with an accredited organization, and being mentored by people who are certified at the master level.

To maintain or advance ICF certification you have to re-up every few years and also take continuing education courses. It’s a significant ongoing investment in time and money.

By the way, the ICF and other certifying bodies often change requirements for the various levels of certification. So, if you’re on route to certify, stay in touch with the requirements so you’re not blindsided by changes.

Independent certification helps to mature emerging fields and garner acceptance in the marketplace. ICF launched in 1995, when life coaching was a new concept, and now has a presence in 140 countries and over 30,000 members.

There is a segment of the coaching industry that will firmly say YES, that you must be certified to be considered a professional coach. I’ve softened on this over the years, which I’ll cover more later.

5 Main Reasons Proponents Give to Independently Certify

Reason #1    Coaches who certify are more likely to earn more and not drop out of the profession.

Reason #2    Certification distinguishes you from all the people who co-opt the term ‘coach’ but who have not been rigorously trained.

Reason #3    Maintaining certification requires you to stay in tune with best practices.

I’ll chime in here. Independent certification does not necessarily mean you’ll earn more.

Your income as a coach largely depends on your chosen target audience, how you charge for your offers and your ability to market and enroll.

Reason #4    The public will perceive you as being a more skilled coach if you’re certified.

Reason #5    Your clients will require it.

Credibility largely depends on how you conduct yourself. And most clients do not require or even know about certification.

In my 20 years in the industry, none of my potential or actual clients has ever asked me if I was certified.

And, I’ve checked recently with experienced coaches. We agree that for most niches the client does not require or even ask about certification.

The Bottom Line About Certifying As a Coach

If you go into the executive or leadership coaching track where you’ll provide services to people within corporations, coaches that are ICF certified or with another independent body are much more likely have a competitive edge. Organizations know to ask about it.

For many other tracks, niches and audiences, being certified is a non-issue.

So here’s what I tell my clientswhy not work towards certification?

It will keep you on a professional path.

If your integrity tells you that to feel legitimate and be valuable to your clients you must maintain that certification, then keep doing that.

Independent certification again is a significant and a continuous investment of time and money so you want to plan for that.

Or, if you’re not going to go that route find other ways to walk a professional path that are just as legitimate.

See guys, it’s your business — you get to do what YOU think is right. Challenge yourself to higher levels of skill and integrity in your services as you grow your coaching business. Pay attention to client feedback and improve.

Ep 146 – Should You Start a Podcast for Your Coaching Business?

This episode is inspired by YOU. You’ve helped me surpass 100,000 listens of Prosperous Coach Podcast. I’m so grateful to you for binge listening and sharing my podcast with other coaches.

Now, maybe I can help you start your own podcast.

I’ll tell you what podcasting has meant for me and I’ll share some details about what it takes, what it costs plus a few powerful questions to ask yourself about whether podcasting is right for you.

My podcast has revolutionized my business and also given me great joy.

I posted a blog for over 8 years and it was hugely instrumental in attracting ideal clients to my services. But it was never as impactful as my podcast has been.

I think it’s because listeners hear my voice weekly so there’s more of a sense of intimacy. People feel like they get to know me in ways that can’t come across only in words on a page.

And because my episodes are short and I’m consistent about putting out a weekly episode I have a lot of binge listeners. Isn’t that fun!

When I have a Discovery Call with a coach who wants to enroll in my 5 month VIP program, they often say: “You sound just like you do on your podcast!” That’s reassuring to them.

Some of the joy factor is in putting my voice out there. I say what I think and feel.

Your voice is more than just sounds and words. It’s an integral part of who you are. When you speak up and speak out you’re stepping fully into your personal power. It’s almost impossible to be anything but authentic when you show up weekly with your voice on air.

I didn’t expect the satisfaction of putting my voice out there. I can stumble over words, just be myself and my audience is forgiving. I can tell you personal things about myself and know that I’m relating not burdening. It’s connective not self-deprecating.

And I get so much positive feedback. It’s nourishing to know that my philosophy, guidance and truth telling resonates with so many coaches. A few coaching training organizations suggest my podcast to their students.

I know I’m helping people who will never hire me. And that’s gratifying. But I also know that people I’m meant to work with will hire me and we’re likely to start our journey with a deeper understanding between us.

And when people reach out and fill out the application on my Work with Rhonda page of my website, they are 99% ready to enroll. Wow! No other form of messaging or marketing has brought me that kind of ease.

And then there’s the accessibility piece. People in over 100 countries hear my podcast and that’s growing.

So What is a Podcast?

You might have listened but not really known what a podcast is. It’s similar to a radio show but it’s delivered online in episodes that can be experienced on demand rather than by tuning into a specific station at a specific time.

Listeners can subscribe to a podcast through apps they download onto their phone like Apple Podcast, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and other directories who, at this point, all offer free listening accounts and downloadable apps. My listeners can also hear my episodes on my website.

When you subscribe to a podcast, the app brings new episodes up first. You can also click SEE ALL and explore the back catalog of a show. There are limited show notes or transcripts that listeners can see on their apps. I put links to other episodes and resources in my transcripts.

People often listen doing a routine task such as commuting, exercising, laundry, walking the dog, chores, cooking, or waiting for appointments. I hear fun anecdotes from my listeners about what they do while they listen. Coaches tell me they’ve put aside time on Tuesday mornings when my episodes first show up.

Podcasters Are a Beautiful Community

Podcasting is a big movement and there’s an amazing community of new, amateur and pro podcasters who engage with each other in Facebook groups and conferences.

I have never met a kinder group of people. Podcasters seem to want everyone to succeed in the format. Where I was asking questions in these groups just a couple of years ago, now I’m answering questions to pass forward the good will.

What Does It Really Take to Podcast?

Podcasting is a commitment with a bit of a learning curve. It’s fairly labor intensive to plan, write show notes, record, edit, distribute and market the episodes.

I’m mostly recording short 7 – 20 minute solo episodes right now. It’s just me. I only occasionally do interviews. It takes me on my own approximately 4 hours per episode from conception to publishing.

Interviews can take roughly twice as long. I batch the work, doing about 4 episodes at a time so I get economies of scale. To do 4 episodes only take about 10 hours.

If you’re thinking that’s a crazy amount of time to put in, consider that most coaches will need to put about 15 hours a week into marketing. So, if it’s not podcasting, you might be blogging, doing videos, public speaking, networking and social media with those hours.

Podcasting is a method of marketing. The way I do it and I’ve taught my clients to do it, it’s generosity marketing, which means providing real value for free. Although some podcasters put their show behind a payment wall or make some money from getting sponsors, I’ve preferred not to burden my listeners that way.

What Does it Cost to Podcast?

Well, it’s pretty affordable, guys. Your financial investment depends on 4 main things:

  • What equipment you already have vs. what you need to purchase
  • How much you do yourself vs. how much you outsource
  • Which 3rd party services you choose and their monthly fees
  • The number of plugins and other web related costs you opt for

I went for low/mid range equipment and I do all the tasks myself. My initial investment was around $150 and monthly expenses for podcast hosting — a necessity — are about $12/month. I use free recording/editing software called Audacity and a free account in Canva to create episode art.

Podcasting hosting services are not the same as a web hosting companies. The files of recording are large and require storage so that’s one service the podcast hosting company provides. But the other service is to legitimize you to distributors and automate some of the distribution for you.

When I post my podcast episode on my hosting company and publish the episode it’s automatically distributed to 12 of the most apps such as Stitcher, Google Podcast, Pandora, Spotify and Apple Podcast.

Should You Start a Podcast?

It depends on several factors:

  1. Have you fully developed the foundation of your coaching business? Do you have a unique narrow audience you’ve targeted that’s full of seekers? Have you identified what they want so much and their big problems that would inspire them to hire you? Have you developed your Signature Program, compelling web copy, a free lead magnet and a client winning website? These are some of the things I help my clients create in my VIP Coaching Business Breakthrough program.
  2. Have you cleared time in your calendar to market your business 15 hours a week while also having time to serve current and future clients? You’ll need a minimum of 20 hours a week to build clientele and serve them.
  3. Do you have a location in your home where you could record episodes without noise and distraction? I’ve used a walk in closet full of clothes to record my episodes. It’s quiet and sound is appropriately baffled.
  4. Can you borrow or purchase equipment and make the monthly payments?

If you answer ‘yes’ to all, now all you need is about a 2-month ramp up period before launching your podcast.

I’ve been asked if the podcast realm is too saturated. It’s growing fast. But only a very small percentage of podcasts go beyond 1 year so it’s emptying out as fast as it’s growing. I’m approaching my 3rd year and my show is considered to be in the top 5 percentile mainly for consistency.

People stop their shows for different reasons just like some people drop out of their coaching business. You don’t have to worry about what other people do. Do what you think is right for you. Build the business you want. Do what it takes to make it thrive and enjoy!

Ep 145 – What’s Your Coaching Business Kryptonite?

This episode is super short and inspired by the saboteur in all of us who keeps us from greatness.

You remember Superman — the dude who could do anything and seemed unstoppable except when he encountered Kryptonite. That green crystal weakened Superman so he was powerless.

Your coaching business kryptonite is something you avoid. It’s the thing that keeps you from your super power.

You want to coach for a living. You want to help people achieve and transform. And you want to earn well at this so you don’t have to work at someone else’s company on someone else’s goals with their rules.

So what’s your kryptonite in your coaching business? It could be something deeply personal and unique to you.

I’ve said this before … a recurring lesson for me is about personal power. When I stand firm in my personal power and do what’s right for me with integrity everything in my business works better.

There might be something like that for you. It trips you up time and again. I can tell you it’s a great opportunity for you to put your awareness on that thing and evolve.

Your kryptonite could be about making a decision. Here are 2 decisions that, left unmade, will hold you back from starting much less achieving success in your coaching business:

  1. Choosing a narrow and viable audience of seekers to serve. It’s the first big decision that could make or break your time as a coach. But that’s not to say that there’s only one right decision for you. Sometimes it’s about making the decision not what the decision is that keeps you stuck.
  2. Building your niche around helping them solve their big problem that’s in the way of their big goal.

Or your kryptonite could be situational. You come to a moment that requires something of you and you’re stopped in your tracks. Here are three things …

  1. Inviting prospects to work with you. Or maybe not. Some clients will hire you outright. Some people need to be asked. If you don’t ask, they might not decide.
  2. Charging enough with clients so you can earn well. This is big kryptonite, guys. If it’s not faced, it will keep your business floundering.
  3. Putting out valuable content every week to stay in front of your audience. This is often what it takes to get noticed in the online world. And if you operate off line then it may be about setting up meetings regularly or networking.

Its usually fear or lack of know-how that keeps you from moving forward with confidence to the next step. I help my clients move past both.

Your kryptonite could be about smaller moments in time:

  1. Asking for testimonials. I failed to do this for over a decade! And it can make a difference in whether people hire you or not. Don’t wait like I did.
  2. Following up with prospects. You won’t bother them. You’ll wake them from distractions so they can make a decision.
  3. Inviting past clients back. It’s worth it. This is easy money and can be lovely to reconnect.

Or it could be big blocks that keep you far from success:

  1. Chronic procrastination. You can beat this with a little help.
  2. Getting distracted by bright shiny objects.
  3. Treating your business like a hobby. It’s time to don the CEO mantle and stop pretending. Be who you long to be.

Every one of these things I listed are the usual suspects. Nearly all coaches at some time have trouble with these things. And I know from being a person who struggled with all of this at one time, that all can be shifted by working on mindset and habits.

Your mindset and habits can be powerful kryptonite or powerful success factors. It’s mind over matter. Don’t let anything stop you from what you ultimately want. And don’t be afraid to get support to help you break free from your kryptonite. Superman had help. You can too.

Ep 144 – When is the Most Effective Time to Promote Your Coaching Business?

This episode is inspired by a recent look at my business analytics, which are confirming that my business is surging right now and yours could be too!

What are business analytics and why am I talking about them?

Well you can’t know what times are most effective for promotion unless you set up and track analytics. Sound complicated? Not really.

For me, there are 7 sets of numbers I regularly review and track that tell me how many people:

  1. are on my website and how long they engage there
  2. are subscribing to get my freebie
  3. open and click through on the links in my emails
  4. listen to my podcast and what percentage of the episode they listen to
  5. respond to my posts on social channels.
  6. fill out my application to work with me and sign up for a Discovery Call
  7. are enrolling in a Strategy Session

These are all my opportunities for a future connection with a person who could become my paying client.

What opportunities have you set up to connect and attract paying clients?

I’ve made every aspect of my business — my website, my lead magnet, my podcast and more — highly visible and compelling for my target audience. I never do any type of promoting to a general audience.

Monitor Analytics About Your Coaching Business

Do you have stats about your business that you’re watching? If not, I encourage you to set up processes to attract ideal clients and keep their attention. Then figure out how you can measure that. Apps make this easy.

If you do have numbers you can review, what do you do with them? Soon I’ll do an episode about this. For now, I’ll just say … never let your stats depress you. Instead let them spur you to action.

So, my question in the title of this episode — when is the most effective time to promote your coaching business — is a bit of a trick question. The truth is that it’s best to promote all the time. All. The. Time.

Never Hard Sell Your Coaching Prospects

And I want to make it clear I’m not talking at all about constantly asking people to hire you or posting ads all the time. I don’t believe in that pushy approach.

If you’re running your coaching business the way I do and the way I teach my clients in my VIP program, you are using the simplest coaching business model and have built a beautiful customer journey so your ideal clients steadily flow right to you ready to enroll.

I’m not advocating hard selling. Consistent non-salesy marketing is the best approach for coaches.

My new clients tell me that one reason they chose me over other business mentors for coaches is because I didn’t hard sell them … ever. They never felt I was pushing or attached to them hiring me.

So take away this point today … run your business so that you’re promoting in a non-salesy way all the time. Do that by getting in front of and staying in front of your audience with high value content. Speak their language.

Inconsistent marketing is usually a waste of time because people forget who you are and their interest is harder to spark again.

Publish a weekly podcast, blog or videos and consistently show up on social media plus use more high touch methods monthly – such as networking and public speaking. All of this should be targeting your narrow audience and not talking about generic coaching topics.

Show Up More During These Times

That said, there are certain times of the year that, for most coach’s audiences, will be the most effective for a bigger promotional effort.

Think about it. When are human beings most in the mood to improve their lives and therefore most likely to hire you?

  • January after the holidays – This is the greatest energy for self-improvement and new initiatives.
  • May – Spring raises all life giving energies so people tend to invest in themselves then.
  • September – Once the kids are settled in school adults want to start something new.
  • November through early December – Before the year ends people want to honor their goals.

Plan Your Coaching Business Ahead of the Wave

If you haven’t launched your coaching business yet, launch during those high times.

If you’re launching a new program, plan the opening for these times.

Of course, that means you need to be thinking things through about 6 months earlier or more.

When I sold group programs, products and online training I used to plan my promotional calendar 18 months ahead because I needed to secure promotional partners, write web copy and promotional material, plan all the content when it would go out and how it would build excitement.

That was an exhausting and why I don’t sell products, online training or group programs anymore. It’s why I created the Simplest Coaching Business Model because I can make and keep more money with private services, which are fun for me as well as being more effective for my clients.

What are you selling? How many people do you need to get interested to enroll the number of people that will give you a great income?

These are questions that most coaches don’t ask themselves. And I get it. The business side of coaching isn’t why you started this journey. Still, if you’re in this to stay and you also want to earn well, you can’t NOT think about this.

I didn’t want to think about these things either when I started. I shot from the hip and didn’t plan anything. That affected my income. And then I found, when I made a game out of doing and tracking my business it became more fun!

You always hold the reins in your business and can do whatever you want, when you want. Start noticing what happens when you take action and what happens when you don’t. Set up ways to track your stats. Do things that AFFECT those stats. Watch how you improve and how your business grows.

Ep 143 – Should You Stick with Your Coaching Niche?

Do you have a coaching niche that hasn’t paid off yet? This episode explores 10 strategic things that could be missing for you. The full transcript of this episode can be found at prosperouscoach.com/143.

Nearly all coaches are hoping for more traction in their niche. And I want you to understand something that may take the sting out of this. Nearly all businesses of all kinds are hoping for more traction all the time!

So you may be thinking: “It sounds like it’s not worth it to start a business!”

It absolutely is worth it if you’re serious about being the driver of a career that’s tailor made for you. If you want to choose how and when you work and with whom … if you want to be the one who decides your own fees, when you take time off and how often … your own business can give you that.

BUT you have to be in it to win it. Win it a bit at a time until you find the sweet spot. Screw your courage to the sticking place— as Shakespeare advised — and take risks knowing that you CAN make it with time and patience.

Maybe you don’t have time or patience. That in itself is a deal breaker. It’s not a good idea to start any type of business out of desperation. If you are on your last legs financially starting a business is not a good risk for now.

Start your business from a place of strength. Start your business when you’re hungry enough to motivate yourself and not so hungry that you’ll be under enormous pressure.

You don’t have to be independently wealthy to start a business. You just need a wealth of patience plus the willingness to try something, give it a fair shot for a decent amount of time while making small adjustments to improve yourself and your strategy.

ALLOW your business to unfold but don’t sit back and wait for it to happen without you.

I know I’ve used this metaphor in the last episode … your business is your baby. You would not judge a child harshly for not having it altogether in the first few months or the first few years would you? No, because you know there are developmental stages and every child has it’s own pace. That’s true for your business also.

If you’ve had your niche for a long time – let’s say a couple of years – and it hasn’t begun to pay off the way you want it to, should you abandon it?

Well the answer is possibly. Sorry there’s just not a clear straight forward answer here because there are so many variables to consider. Some have to do with the way you’re behaving and some have to do with strategy.

So let’s look inside your niche and your business. And by the way, I did a whole podcast series called Coaching Business Checkup that culminated in a beautiful free downloadable assessment to help you identify what needs to change in your coaching business … and yeah, it could be your niche for sure.

It could also be several other things. If you want to check out that series start with prosperouscoach.com/62

Inside the pdf you’ll also find links to each episode in the Coaching Business Checkup series so you can listen as you assess your business. The whole thing is like a mini audio course – all for free.

Your niche is only one of 10 things that could be keeping you back from financial success in your coaching business. It’s the cornerstone of everything so that does need to be right from the get go.

All businesses survive and thrive on a mixture of hard work, strategy and luck.

In my own business I surely have worked hard for over two decades. I am nothing if not doggedly determined. And that characteristic is a big plus.

I come by it naturally as nearly everyone in my family of origin are entrepreneurs who have scrabbled and cobbled together a good living all their lives mostly without being on someone else’s payroll. So working hard to grow my business wasn’t a foreign concept.

If you’re not working ON your business consistently and persistently … if you’re not in it to win it, well, that’s your answer right there. Without dedication no one makes it in business.

I’ve had some good luck too. I just happened to get involved in the Denver chapter of ICF at the right moment when the President recognized something in me and asking me to be a trainer for his coach training company.

Coach Training Alliance was born and I had the privilege of co-authoring the curriculum and developing the Certified Coach Program there. I personally trained 500 coaches and that put me right in front of an audience I knew I could help with my marketing and copywriting expertise.

That launched my current business. But I don’t want you to think everything was easy peasy from there. I kept working hard and finding my way.

There’s nothing wrong with working hard. It’s a positive energy unto itself. Enterprise is stimulating. It’s good for your brain to solve problems and follow a path as it meanders.

My hard work has paid off and kept on paying off. Apple, Google, Nike – you think those company leaders and teams haven’t worked hard? They have. AND they also did not know they would make it from the start. You will find your luck IF you work hard and stay the course.

The main thing you can control beyond hard work is strategy. And that’s what my free assessment – Coaching Business Checkup – is all about. Here’s a preview …

Strategy #1 is target a unique and viable audience. Does your niche have that?

Strategy #2 is center your niche on your audience’s BIG problems and goals. Are you good there?

Strategy #3 is articulate what you do in a way that inspires investment. That’s complex so that’s why there are powerful questions to answer in the assessment.

Strategy #4 is develop a simple coaching business model. Most coaches go with high tech, high labor low profit business models. There’s a better way.

Strategy #5 is create a simple and meaningful customer journey. Most coaches don’t think this through. I didn’t until the last 7 years! You can do better than me.

There are 5 more critical strategies. It’s time to examine your business and efforts dispassionately, so you can truly see what’s been in your way.

And if you want some help assessing your niche and business so far, grab a Strategy Session with me.

Ep 142 – How Long Will It Take to Reach Coaching Business Success?

I was having the last session of my signature program with a favorite client the other day. This short episode is inspired by that conversation. Find the show notes at prosperouscoach.com/143

It’s bittersweet having a final session with a client. For them, they’re losing an accountability partner and the structure that helps them stay inspired and make things happen. From here on out they’ll have to hold themselves accountable.

For me, I lose their unique presence in my life session-to-session. I’ve been holding space for their growth. I’ve been responsive to emails and getting comfortable with their learning style, their work style.

All my clients are truly brilliant in their own way. And I come to feel a kinship with them.

My signature program is 5 months long so I have the honor of seeing my clients transform – not only the nuts and bolts of their niche, business model, website and program but also in mindset and approach.

There’s a lot of teaching and learning. That goes both ways.

For most of my clients there’s enough room in my program for at least one pick-my-brain session. You know, they ask me a bunch of questions about little things related to client management and the like. Little details from an experienced coach that help them avoid pitfalls or shorten more learning curves.

And sometimes it’s the big questions that get asked. The ones on every coach’s mind but they are afraid to ask until the last minute. Not because they are intimidated but because we’re busy work-shopping their business from the ground up.

So this client, a smart man with a family, full time job and the chutzpah to start a business of his dreams asked me the ubiquitous question that has no satisfying answer.

It goes something like this … how long will it take me to be successful? He said with humor in voice. Is it three months, six months, two years?

Here’s more or less what I said:

Yes. All of that and more. At three months and before you’ll have a slice of success. At six months if you’re consistent and congruent, leveraging what we’ve created, you’ll have bigger successes.

Success comes moment to moment and you must celebrate those moments. Because if you do not, the long-term success you crave won’t arrive.

Your business is your baby. It’s like a living entity – a part of you. And you need to nurture that baby every day so you can attract good things – a following, social proof, Discovery Calls, ideal clients and of course the income comes with that.

If you neglect that baby it won’t thrive.

And here my client said something like “Yeah but with a kid don’t they eventually grow up?” And we laughed about that.

It gets easier but they are always your child. And with each phase you need to learn how to parent differently, right? You adjust as they grow.

With a business as with a child they grow as you grow,  you grow as they grow. You calibrate to the new phase. You learn what works and what doesn’t. You learn to live with limitations.

Successes happen. Then things change and you have to figure out the new way. Test and tweak. Incremental improvement.

There is no magic number. Could I say it takes about 18 months? I could, but that might not be true for every coach with every target audience, with every skillset. All coaches are different. And just like happiness success is transitory.

It took me years to find my sweet spot — I mean the combination of everything that works best for me. Do I get that all the time? No.

And I’m probably on version 8 or 10 of my business after 24 years. I’m not talking about major do-overs here. I’m talking about stretching and innovating, trying and failing, adjusting and finding a better way.

This is what we do in life. This is what every business is like. Whether it’s a solo coach or a big corporation, a boutique business or a mid-sized empire. Every business grows at the pace of its founder or teams. Every business grows according to the ability to adapt.

The most important thing right now is to do something everyday to grow your business. It might be as small as a social post or as big as doing a TED Talk. Find the way to attract your audience. Dedicate yourself like you wish you dedicated yourself to being healthy.

You have a solid business foundation now with a niche that’s uniquely yours. It’s your baby. Celebrate the baby steps. That will condition you to succeed in a bigger way.

So then my client told me that he truly gets my podcast episode sign off now — Stay inspired and make things happen.

He said: “It’s not stay inspired OR make things happen. I need to do both.” That’s right!